English Comic Eddie Izzard at Benedum; Pixies and Wye Oak in Pittsburgh Concerts (Wed., 10/4/16)

1) English comedian Eddie Izzard visits the Byham Theater on his Believe Me tour. Bizarre and flamboyant, Izzard feverishly muses over questions we didn’t realize we had—and comes to conclusions we didn’t realize we needed—on a slew of subjects, ranging from history to religion to popular culture. Sometimes intellectual, sometimes merely silly, Izzard is a raconteur in the truest sense of the word. His imagination is incredibly active, brimming with absurdity, and he’s been bringing it to life before audiences (often improvised) for more than 25 years now. His career is nearly as chaotic as his stand-up routine. He didn’t begin appearing on this side of the Atlantic until the late ’90s, at which point he was quickly embraced by American audiences. Since then, he has appeared publicly in an impressive range of capacities—stand-up comedy, theater, television, film, commercials, even political activism. On this tour he will be doing standup comedy, discussing his life and book, Believe Me: a memoir of love, death and jazz chickens. 8 p.m. 101 6th St., Cultural District. (EC, RH)

2) Boston alternative band the Pixies formed in 1986 when guitarist Joey Santiago bought an ad looking for a female bass guitar player who liked both Peter, Paul and Mary; and Hüsker Dü. Only one person responded, Kim Deal, who had never played a bass before. She liked Santiago’s concept, got a bass, and joined the band, which also had Black Francis and David Lovering in it. In 1987, they released a mini-LP, Come on Pilgrim, which was followed a year later by their first full-length album, Surfer Rosa. The Pixies broke up in 1993 but reunited in 2004, and Deal exited the band in 2013. They continue to perform at a high level. The Pixies have been cited as an influence on later bands including Nirvana, Radiohead, Bush, and Weezer. Opener is Sunflower Bean. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (RH)

3) For Wye Oak’s fourth studio album, 2014’s Shriek, Jenn Wasner put down her guitar and picked up the bass. This might not sound like a big deal, but consider that Andy Stack is the only other member of this Baltimore duo. Consider too how big a record their previous LP, 2011’s Civilian, was. The A.V. Club voted it the best album of 2011, and the title track was used in “The Walking Dead” and in the indie film Safety Not Guaranteed. It was a sonic departure—the flash of “Holy Holy” traded for the slow-burn of “Glory”—but it worked. Fans and critics lauded Shriek. 2016 saw the release of Tween, an album of songs which originated between Civilian and Shriek. This year, Merge Records released two new Wye Oak songs, “Spiral” and “Wave Is Not the Water,” on a limited-edition 7-inch. If you missed Wye Oak last year at their sold-out concert at Club Cafe, they return there again this year. Luke Temple opens. 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. (CM)

Free RADical Days 2017 Events

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: Story

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Free admission: 10AM-5PM
Enjoy free admission to the region’s first outdoor botanic garden. Explore 3.1 miles of trails through 60 acres of woodlands, meadows, and gardens, and learn about how Pittsburgh Botanic Garden turned an abandoned coal mine into a sprawling forest filled with native plants and wildlife. This garden is completely pet-friendly! 799 Pinkerton Run Road (Oakdale)